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Monday, October 1, 2012

Primary Foods: Career and Health

For the past two years I was stuck in a rut. I was working from 8-3 (not bad!) as a preschool teacher in a public school. How bad could things really  be? At the time, I did not realize that my unhappiness with my job position, regardless of the pay and benefits, was causing me serious health issues.

Within my first 6 months as a preschool teacher, I gained about 10lbs, for the first time in my life I had acne, and my period vanished.  There was no real obvious cause for all of these issues, I was a vegan, I exercised 5-6 days a week, I meditated, and my home life was perfect... Except the fact that I was under constant stress during my 7 hour work day.

Don't get me wrong, preschool aged children are wonderful!! I miss my class every day. But being in charge of fifteen 3-year-olds, is a game of constant behavior management. I give tremendous credit to anyone who teaches younger children!

Fast forward to today, October 1st. It was two years ago, this week, that I was officially hired as a full time teacher under the state of New Jersey. Today, I am no longer teaching preschool...

For two years I thought I had made a bad decision going into teaching... I was angry at myself for not going with my gut and studying psychology.  Today, I no longer feel this regret.

In September, I was asked to return to the same building I had been working in, but this time as a 3rd grade teacher. As nervous as I was, I knew that this may be my cure.  It has been a month of teaching 3rd grade, and I don't remember the last time I was this happy.

My days are longer (7am to at least 5pm), and I bring work home at night, and spend Sundays planning... but I am not complaining. I absolutely love what I do!  My students are 8 and 9-years-old.  They are amazing, eagerly learning new things everyday.

At this age I know I can really be impressionable, and make a difference in the lives of my favorite type of people-- the little ones. In between math and reading, while drinking my green smoothie (which they are all so curious about), I like to throw in a few facts about healthy habits-- and they listen and understand! Last week, the music teacher asked the students to share something about themselves.  I almost cried when about 15 of my 21 students stated that their favorite food was some type of vegetable!
This was me, during their music lesson :)

With all of this happiness, I have lost most of that weight gain, my skin has cleared up, I am full of energy-- running more than ever, and I cannot stop smiling. In this case, I am proof that diet and exercise, alone, will not make you healthy and happy.  There is a BIG thing I like to call our "primary foods", our relationships, spirituality, our career.  Food is secondary....
I am finally in balance.

With something to think about :)

<3, Amanda

Looking forward:
Next blog post-- Welcome to Pumpkin season!! Oh the recipes I will be sharing ;)

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